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The Grand Design

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  63,503 ratings  ·  2,661 reviews

When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the nature of reality? Why are the laws of nature so finely tuned as to allow for the existence of beings like our
Hardcover, First Edition, 199 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Bantam
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Ben McDonald in a word, yes. one of the main ideas in the book is 'M-theory.' A theory of everything, a single equation that maps out and explains the whole of exi…morein a word, yes. one of the main ideas in the book is 'M-theory.' A theory of everything, a single equation that maps out and explains the whole of existance. it's logical to accept such a thing exists. but the religious contrevercy occurs when you apply this logic: if M-theory is reolised then there will be no need for a god to map out and explain the whole of existance. (less)

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Jul 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
It's a funny thing being a cosmologist in the greater Los Angeles area. Back when I was a partying single graduate student, I'd frequently hit the town for some fun. Inevitably I'd meet someone, strike up a conversation, and they might ask me what I did for a living.

"Oh, I'm a cosmologist."
"Cosmetologist? Cool, do you do make-up for movies?"
"Um...not unless rouge is a component of dark matter." (ba-da-bum)
"I make detectors and use them to study the origins and geometry of our universe."
Sep 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
When this book was released, I was reading a story about it on-line, and the headline said something like: “Stephen Hawking Says There Is No God”. Then I made the critical mistake of looking at the user comments under the story. It was the usual collection of badly spelled notes from ignorant asshats who tried to say that stupid science didn’t know nuthin’ or that it was all Obama’s fault.

But one in particular caught my eye. It was by someone who undoubtedly dabbles in both neurosurgery and roc
Look John look!
See the pop science bestseller.
See the glossy paper.
See the large font.
See the wide margins.
See the world-famous physicist.
See the ghostwriter.

See the double slit experiment!
Maybe you have seen it before.
But you can never see the double slit experiment too many times.
See the theory of everything.
It is free of infinities.
Anyway, never mind that.

See the quantum multiverse!
See the strong anthropic principle.
See them explain the mystery of being.
They are science.
They make pre
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking

The Grand Design is a popular-science book written by physicists Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow and published by Bantam Books in 2010. The book examines the history of scientific knowledge about the universe and explains 11 dimension M-theory. The authors of the book point out that a Unified Field Theory (a theory, based on an early model of the universe, proposed by Albert Einstein and other physicists) may not exist.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز چهارم ماه مارس
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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Stephen Hawking is smarter than I am. That's no big feat because two of my cats are smarter than I am. The other cat is a certifiable idiot. But Hawking is way smarter than I am. The Grand Design is Hawking's explanation, more or less, about why the universe is the way it is. The answer comes down to M-theory which is more of a combining of explanations than one single unifying theory. Many reviewers seem to think Hawking is saying there is no God but he really seems to be stating that God i
Riku Sayuj
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pop-science, r-r-rs
In the first chapter Hawking says that his aim is to provide an answer to "Life, Universe and Everything" and goes on to assure us that his answer will not merely be "42". After just completing the last chapter, I think I still prefer "42".
Manuel Antão
Oct 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2010
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Epidemic of Vanity: "The Grand Design" by Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow

(Original Review, 2010)

At university, after spending thousands on tuition, I then had to spend a lot, over 3 years, on books for my courses. More than half were written by the very professors that were teaching me. Quite frankly, it's a giant scam. Those professors have already been paid for the first material through their salaries. Why should we have to pay th
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love to talk or read about very smart people, they always teach me and make me look at things differently. Never miss any programs on TV about our home and universe, or fill my library with books in this subject. Some theories and scientific explanations was over my head, but help to make me understand was just phone call away.
Jul 13, 2011 rated it liked it
I have a feeling that the publishing industry is milking Stephen Hawking. There was a time when we had a dashing physicist named Richard Feynman who used LSD and played banjo in a strip club. The naked pole dancers didn’t distract him from formulating quantum electrodynamics. He was quite a genius, and he was all over the place with his talks and popular books. But he’s dead. Now Stephen Hawking seems to be the coolest physicist around. He’s paralyzed and wheelchair-bound, and he speaks through ...more
David Boyce
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
As a cosmologist and a Stephen Hawking fan, I have a real issue with this book. His statement, that the Universe unpacks itself and therefore does not need a creator is based on some really flawed logic called 'model dependent realism'. MDR is a way of comparing reality to a model, if the model produces the same observable characteristics as observed in reality then the model is said to be as true as any other model.

Imagine this, if there was equal amounts of incriminating evidence that two peop
Jun 02, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
New, and obviously science based analysis that seeks to answer the ultimate questions about life… like when and how did the universe begin, why are we here, is there a god etc. Interesting and thought provoking stuff. 7 out of 12.

01.11.2016: Stephen Hawking warns that the Higgs Boson field could collapse, resulting in a chain reaction that would take in the whole universe with it. The nihilists have been right all along...

M-theory: Doubts linger over godless multiverse
STEPHEN HAWKING'S new book The Grand Design sparked a furore over whether physics can be used to disprove the existence of God. But few have noted that the idea at the core of the book, M-theory, is the subject of an ongoing scientific debate – specific
Sep 03, 2010 rated it it was ok

Wake me up when you actually define M-Theory.
(Which has yet to be defined)

This was a short read that cost WAY TOO MUCH money.

Any book I can read in a day should cost less than 9 dollars.
Jul 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Once again, I am awed and blown away by the f'ing awesomeness of the universe, and it struck me how presumptuous many of us are considering our insignificance in the grand scope of things.

I have two science based degrees, but Physics was never my strong suit, and I'd be lying if I said everything in his book made perfect sense. On the flip side, I had several light bulb moments, which is always nice.

Among other things, Hawking makes a few great points particularly about the essence of "reality."
Oct 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
After reading Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything and Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos, I felt that I might finally be ready for my first Hawking book. There were a couple of sections that I re-read, in an attempt to make concrete some of the more abstract aspects of m-theory. Despite my rudimentary understanding of quantum physics, I still gleaned a great deal from this book and would recommend it to anyone who is even mildly curious. Those who have a more advanced educati ...more
Erik Graff
Jan 17, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hawking fans
Recommended to Erik by: A.M.
Shelves: sciences
I was given this book as a reward for helping a friend pick up and deliver newly purchased furniture. As is the case with most such gifts, I began to read it immediately.

I was almost immediately turned off by the text owing to an extraordinary display of ignorance on the part of the authors and the editors, a mistake appearing in the first few pages in their lead-up to what is supposed to be a survey of the history of physics as germinated in Ionian philosophy. Here they note in passing that wri
Abdullah Khalid
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The Authors try to explain the origin and purpose of the universe from scientific point of view. At first we are told about the concept of formation of universe in the earlier times. From ancient Greeks to Galileo, Newton to Feynman , basic classical theories to the formulation of M-theory , this books tries to explain the fundamental questions related to Universe. It's a very good book if you are striving to comprehend the Universe scientifically . And the explanation is simple enough for a nor ...more
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pop-science

That's like the big glaring thing I need to express with this review. Are you worried you won't understand science because it's dense and dry and has diagrams instead of pictures? This is the book for you, then -- short, succinct, full-colour, and most importantly: clearly explained. The concepts here are intense and heady, but Hawking (and Mlodinow) write about them in a way you can actually understand.

The mathematics are lacking, so this is definitely pop-s
Muhammad Abdullah
This book contains a little more in-depth knowledge. The person with a physics major finds it more captive than those with other disciplines. A quick read to get handful of knowledge about universe in fewer time. Recommend to people with interest in disciplines like physics and cosmology.
Andrew Langridge
Jun 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
There are only a couple of positives that I can think to say about this book. Firstly, Hawking has some Feynman-like qualities in being able to lucidly express important ideas in physics such as time dilation in special relativity and the double slit experiment. Secondly, his philosophy of science that he calls model-based realism has many things going for it, although why it is called realism is never fully explained. I did not find this book particularly easy to read, probably because I did no ...more
Nov 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I own several of Hawking's books, and so I was drawn to this thin volume. Obviously his co-author did most of the work, since Hawking's health continues to deteriorate. Mlodinow is a physicist at Caltech and an author in his own right. His name should appear as co-author, but my cynical brain thinks the publisher felt Hawking's name would sell more copies.

Much time is given to Richard Feynman and his work in quantum physics. In fact, this book promotes the study of quantum theory as the main ans
Kat Kennedy
I think the start of this book far exceeds the latter half. Which, for me, was an enormous slog to get through.
Nicole Rhaven
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book. It touched base on a lot of the intellectual things that I already think about on a daily basis.
He can get quite technical at times but overall a cogent read. In the end, he jumped a little for me. For example, here he tries to refute that a creator is required:
"If the total energy of the universe must always remain zero, and it costs energy to create a body, how can a whole universe be created from nothing? That is why there must be a law like gravity. Because gravity is attractive, gravitational energy is negative: one has to do work to separate a gravitationally bound system... black ho
Ever since I was little, I remember the image of Stephen Hawking from TV. I don't know why, but he remained embroidered in my brain after watching a TV show that spoke of him. This must have been 10 years ago, or something like that, but when it was explained to me what he was and what he was doing and did and why he looked the way he looked (remember I was 7 or 8 so I was bound to ask hurtful questions), I became to develop this fondness towards him.

In my late years (oh, I'm soooo old), when I
Vikalp Trivedi
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
'The Grand Design' by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow is an attempt (and actually a brilliant one) to understand some philosophical questions in a scientific manner . As the book cover suggests "New answers to the ultimate questions of life." and the book successfully gives the answers .

Some of my most favourite parts of the book are those about reality and  alternate histories . Recently I have watched a film 'Doctor Strange' there is a quote in the film - "The reality which you know is o
T.R. Preston
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There are many fascinating conversations one might have about the universe. You could even say there are an infinite amount of subjects that boggle the mind. The one that puzzles and intrigues me more than any other, however, is the concept of there being multiple universes, each with its own unique timeline. Grasping that is simply beyond what the human mind is capable of. We have no ground to stand on. Such an idea sounds like nonsense, but Scientists, very respectable ones, would have you bel ...more
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a longtime fan of the popular science books of the late Stephen Hawking it is nice to be able to extolled his book co-authorized by Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design. Because so much of this book is about quantum mechanics it can be hard on almost all readers. Advanced level readers will find it too basic and perhaps dislike the orientation/history that opens the book. Readers with little or no background should be relatively comfortable. For myself I remember the several versions of the sta ...more
Aug 07, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a short, elegant, beautifully illustrated book. I read it in less than a day. The book gives a good answer to the so-called "anthropic principle"--namely, that the laws of physics and the fundamental constants appear to be perfectly tuned to allow our world, life, and humans to develop. If any of the laws or fundamental constants were to deviate even slightly, life might not be even possible.

The answer to this dilemma, the authors state, is not that God created the laws of physics, and t
May 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
I'm terribly deceived...
In short, it hovered above THE Question, how did the Big Bang happen and Why ?
I mean that granted getting to know deep/complicated theories about astrophysics, and the TOE was challenging, but I felt empty in the inside after finishing it, simply because the introduction promised answers, and was put in such a scientifically yet appealing way that I was broken-hearted after closing with no answers...
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Stephen William Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 in Oxford, England. His parents' house was in north London, but during the second world war Oxford was considered a safer place to have babies. When he was eight, his family moved to St Albans, a town about 20 miles north of London. At eleven Stephen went to St Albans School, and then on to University College, Oxford, his father's old college. Ste ...more

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